Cashiers Architects are few in number. HOME ARCHITECTS ® is a Cashiers Architect, as they are physically based here. You can count on one hand, the actual, licensed, Real architectural firms in the Cashiers area.
This particular architectural company designs custom houses for clients nationwide, as well as Cashiers. One of the reasons they are located in Cashiers is that this places them equidistant from just about anywhere in the eastern USA,
nearest the main population concentrations of the country, although they have designed projects for clients as far away as Washington State in the United States (and in Kuwait, in the Middle East). See this Cashiers Architect’s Portfolio for a sampling of their projects.
Over the years, the company has designed numerous projects for clients in the western North Carolina communities of Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway, Glenville and Sapphire. The firm has created designs for custom single family houses, country club facilities, multifamily, offices, restaurants, exercise facilities, mountain-themed shopping complexes, master plans and much more, although they enjoy a focus on custom residential design, both in Cashiers and nationwide.
Cashiers Architects here in all their glory. Falcon Cliff Lodge, created by the HOME ARCHITECTS. © Copyright 2005-2014 Home Architect, PLLC.
Click the image above to see more of this great house that has weathered countless storms, including at least one major hurricane, and multiple minor earthquakes, unfazed. There is a term for this: “Cashiers Strong.”
Cashiers Architects in western NC
Make sure you get the “real thing,” especially if you are looking for an architect in Cashiers. Meaning: a real Architect. How can you be sure? Check out the little letters you see after the design person’s name. If you see none, they probably have no qualifications. If there are letters there, ask them what they mean and what websites you can go to to check out those credentials. There are several architectural imposters in the Cashiers area, who allow others to call them an architectural company, when they are not. The State Board of Architecture insists that companies using the word or words; “Architect,” “Architectural” and similar derivatives of them have at least one licensed Architect on staff, in a position of authority and certain ownership percentage. Some of these illegitimate firms who do not have a real Architect on staff or as an owner of the company have been brought up on charges by the State Board of Architecture for misrepresenting themselves and their companies as an Architect. How to make sure that you are obtaining the services of a real Architect:
Rand Soellner, Architect, ArCH, NCARB, LHI, M.A. Arch, is the Senior Staff Architect for the HOME ARCHITECTS ® company, and he maintains an architectural license in multiple states throughout the USA, including for the Cashiers & NC area. He can become licensed in nearly any state, through reciprocity with his NCARB Certification (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).
That alphabet soup after his name means:
1. Architect = he is a licensed Architect. In Cashiers and many other places.
Why this is important: because you wouldn’t want a grocer performing your heart operation, would you? So you ought to have a licensed, real Architect designing your house, especially in the challenging mountain environment of Cashiers. Anything less, is, well: less. And could be dangerous. An Architect knows how to make your house stronger, more energy efficient, more durable and in all respects Better than the George Costanzas of the world who “Always wanted to pretend to be an Architect.” Beware of pretenders. Always ask the most important question: “Are you an Architect? If so, may I see your license?” And “What’s your license number?” A real Architect has a license to practice, governed by the States in which they are licensed. Non-Architects have nothing: there are no oversight organizations to govern what they do, although some of them belong to dubious “clubs” that have no licensure requirements and appear to have been created to confuse the public into thinking that its unlicensed members have some sort of qualifications, which appears to be subterfuge. Don’t you want the “real thing” designing your house? The people whose houses blew down in hurricanes Katrina, Isabel, Andrew, Floyd, and others probably wish they had had an Architect design their houses: if they are still alive.
Architectural designs are safer, healthier and more energy efficient. Soellner first became licensed in 1982 and has since obtained licensure in multiple jurisdictions. His projects in the Cashiers area are still standing strong, despite at least one major Hurricane and numerous yearly events (particularly during winter gusty weather).
2. ArCH = Soellner is a member and co-founder of the national chapter of ArCH: Architects Creating Homes (the only independent professional association of licensed Architects designing houses in the USA). Their purpose: the society of licensed residential architects, improving the practice and quality of residential architecture.
Why this is important: members of this organization are focused, like a laser beam, on the architectural design of houses. To be a member, you must first be a licensed Architect in at least one State in the USA. Being a member means that you are one of the most knowledgeable residential architectural design firms in the country. Not being a member raises the question: “Why aren’t you?” Check out ArCH. ArCH is all about improving residential design, both in terms of design practices and technical excellence. And the design of houses in the Cashiers area should be done only by licensed Architects, to make sure you have the most knowledgeable professional creating your residence.
3. NCARB = Soellner is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. That often takes an additional decade of experience to attain, once an Architect becomes registered, and requires the endorsements of multiple clients and other licensed Architects, vouching for the competency of the person being considered. It is similar to a medical doctor becoming Board Certified. Check out NCARB.
Why this is important: because this is the only Nationwide licensed Architect clearinghouse that determines who is the best of the best. If your design professional isn’t certified, the question should be: “why not?”
4. LHI = Licensed Home Inspector. There are probably only a hundred or so Architects in the entire USA that are both architecturally licensed and also licensed as a house inspector. In the State of NC, there are only about 5 or so. Why this is important: because if you know what damages houses over the years, due to improper construction techniques, material usage and bad arrangements, you can learn how to improve your architectural practice to design houses and buildings correctly in the beginning. Therefore, you can hopefully save your Clients the problems that others, who didn’t have an Architect design their houses, will have. Check out the NC Home Inspector Licensure Board. Soellner has an active Cashiers area practice as a house inspector, constantly adding knowledge to his list of “what Not to do,” as well as “What to do,” to provide better architectural designs throughout Cashiers and the USA. Anyone who designs houses that is Not also a licensed inspector is operating with less “real world” information than those who do. Soellner daily sees construction and design “”sins” committed in the Cashiers area by some builders and unlicensed “designers” that don’t have the proper technical expertise that a real Architect does.
5. M.A. Arch = Master of Arts in Architecture. From an NAAB certified major university. National Architectural Accrediting Board. This is a professional degree obtained from a major university architectural graduate school program that means that the degree holder has attained a specialized level of architectural knowledge that allows them to take the ARE (Architectural Record Exam). However, in practice, most new architectural graduates apprentice for years under the watchful eyes of other seasoned, licensed professionals before taking the challenging multi-day exam. Mr. Soellner obtained his M.A. Architecture from the University of Florida Graduate School. He has been coming to the Cashiers areas for 35 years and became a full-time resident about a dozen years ago.
Architect in Cashiers
Cashiers has a unique geology. Soellner has studied with geologists and discovered that glaciation had nothing to do with the Cashiers area mountains. Geologists say that glaciers didn’t come this far south. Rather, the granite mountains in Cashiers were caused from seismic events, whether slow or fast. Meaning: there are earthquakes in the Cashiers region, even though the IRC (International Residential Code) refers to the risk as “Moderate.” Would you really want to take a chance on having your house Not prepared to deal with an earthquake? Would you drink water whose risk of contamination was “Moderate?” Probably not.
Also, the geology around Cashiers has bedrock quite often located not far under the ground (earth) level. Few people other than an Architect and a Structural Engineer understand what this means: you have to take certain precautions with your foundations around Cashiers, in order to have your house remain fixed in position. Otherwise, some Cashiers houses designed by non-licensed “designers” have “taken a sleigh ride down the mountain.” Soellner has seen houses in the Cashiers region in the process of doing just this. Soellner said: “You have to know what you are doing around Cashiers. Your investment in a house in Cashiers is sure to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, (possibly more) and you don’t want a cheap designer hamstringing your project to result in structural catastrophe when some strong rains come.” His point is hammered home when you consider your insurance. Because your insurance company may not cover improperly designed houses. The insurance company could blame You, for not having a licensed Architect design the project. Do it right. Do it once. Have your house designed by a Cashiers Architect.
There are many other factors. Cashiers has a unique ecology. It is defined as an Alpine Rain Forest, the only one in the USA, east of the Washington State. This means that there are special challenges for housing and building walls, roofs, doors and windows in the Cashiers environment. You have to keep out the wind driven rain and allow your walls and roofs to drain, while also making sure that interior moisture can be controlled. Mold in Cashiers housing is quite common, in non-Architect designed houses. This sort of knowledge requires decades to master. See: Vapor Barriers and also see: SupR-Wall .
Contact a Cashiers Architect
If you are interested in having a real Architect design your Cashiers custom mountain house, please give this firm a call. You can contact them at:
Phone: 828 . 269 . 9046
Location: Cashiers, NC
tags: Cashiers architects, custom, highlands, lake toxaway, sapphire, glenville, post and beam, timber frame, log aspen, telluride